A totally unfiltered opinion by
Roy J. Akers
News and Notes: Super Bowl Style
The Detroit Lions should try to trade for Rams CB Jalen Ramsey
Story by Mike Payton •
The Detroit Lions have me thinking about the MCU right now (Marvel Cinematic Universe, for the uninitiated). You know, the one with the superheroes who are trying to save the world from the powerful Thanos. In the past, I’ve called Matt Patricia Thanos simply because it felt like he came here and snapped his fingers and half the Lions we loved were gone and Detroit was left in shambles. I still believe that’s true, but for the sake of this story, let’s talk about another Thanos—a variant of the multiverse, if you will.
In this universe, Thanos isn’t really a person. He’s more of a celestial thing that hovers over the Detroit Lions franchise like a dark cloud. For years Thanos has been inevitable for the Lions. He’s caused this team to lose in new and embarrassing ways, and he’s the reason this team has missed out on the playoffs and any glory that comes along with it.
In the last two years, the Lions have formed something of an Avengers team that’s been able to get in shots on Thanos like they never have before. They’re so close to riding themselves off that dark cloud. They’re at the end of “Avengers: Infinity War” and all they have to do to get this guy to go away is go for the head.
The Lions are in a spot right now where their defense is coming along but still needs some important pieces to take it to the next level and beyond. They’ve already attacked the defensive line through the first two years, and they have young, promising players at linebacker. That’s two spots where they’re strong. As for the secondary, there’s one go-for-the-head type of move they can make to have them in the position where they’re holding the gauntlet and snapping their fingers. That’s making another trade with the Rams, this time for All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
I know there’s a bit of hesitancy from Lions fans about this move. I’ve been seeing the reactions to the idea on Twitter this week. The fear is that the Lions would likely have to part with a high draft pick to get it done. If that’s the case, I say make it happen.
The Lions have some things that the Rams don’t. They have a first-round draft pick. That’s something the Rams haven’t had since they selected current Lions starting quarterback Jared Goff in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Rams have sacrificed all those picks in order to build a championship team. They did that. Now they’re a team that’s more than likely headed towards a rebuild for multiple reasons that we don’t have to get into today. Matthew Stafford’s health is probably one of them though.
Related video: Former NFL Defensive End Jessie Lemonier Has Passed Away At 25 (Sports Illustrated)
The Lions hold the sixth overall pick, a pick that used to belong to the Rams. The Lions should keep that pick and offer the 18th pick to the Rams for Jalen Ramsey straight up.
Everyone gets what they want out of this deal. The Rams finally get a high-value draft pick to start rebuilding a young core of their team. They also get to free up some cap space. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, they’d still have to eat $19.6 million of his $25.2 million cap hit this year, but because they’re $14 million over the cap right now, every little bit helps.
Back on January 13, Ramsey posted a cryptic tweet that suggested his time in Los Angeles is done. So it’s possible the Rams were getting ready to move on from him anyways.
NFL insiders also believe he may be on the move. In a story by ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler, at least one NFL employee thinks the Rams would entertain a trade for Ramsey.
“[Ramsey] is one I think the Rams will at least explore [moving],” one AFC personnel director said. “He’s still a top guy, but the play has fallen off a little bit and [he] could use a change of scenery.”
The Lions get to shore up their cornerback situation damn near immediately. Sure there will still be work to do, but the Lions inherit the corner that finished with the third-highest PFF grade for corners in the NFL this season. They can pair him up with Jeff Okudah and company and still use one of their top 100 picks on another corner. Perhaps Stanford’s Kyu Blu Kelly would fit the bill. Lions defensive assistant Shaun Dion Hamilton will be working with Kelly and more corners at the Senior Bowl in a couple weeks, giving the Lions an advantage when scouting this year’s class.
As for Ramsey, he gets to go from a team that had a great culture to a team that arguably has the best culture in the league. He’ll reunite with Brad Holmes and Ray Agnew. The latter, of course, played a big role in bringing Ramsey to LA when he was the Rams director of pro personnel. On the coaching side, if Aaron Glenn remains with the Lions, Ramsey gets to work with a defensive coordinator that specializes in the defensive backs, being a former defensive back himself as well as a former defensive backs coach. He also reunites with Todd Wash, who may be coaching the defensive line now, but was the Jaguars defensive coordinator during Ramsey’s 3.5 seasons in Jacksonville.
The Lions are Thor right now. They have Thanos right where they want him. Trading for Ramsey means going for the head and ending him right now. Go this route, get Thanos off your back, and get yourself into the playoffs with possibly an NFC North title.
Lions Week 18 NFL win satisfying fans and other NFL Opinions
When the Detroit Lions beat the Chicago Bears to even their record at 8-8, head coach Dan Campbell was correct in saying his team played well but have played more complete games as a team in 2022. The Minnesota and Jacksonville games were their best and the NY Jets and Giants games showed the teams resilience.
Per NFL345, “Lions rookies Aidan Hutchinson and James Houston are the 1st pair of rookie teammates each with 7+ sacks since 1982. Hutchinson is the 1st rookie with 7+ sacks & 3+ INTs in a season since 1982. Houston is the 3rd player with 7 sacks in his 1st 6 career games since 1982.”
My bottom line is the Lions have won three of their last five at Lambeau Field after a long losing streak. It looks like Aaron Rodgers is back on form even though he has lost most of his passing targets. My best guess is this will be a very high scoring game. The Lions are more motivated than the Pack. It will come down to lady luck and it looks like the Lions finally have more talent than Green Bay. If the Lions can keep Rodgers from being one score away in the final drive, they win. If Rodgers can win it, even if behind, the Lions lose.
A few weeks ago, overhearing talk on excited fans believing the Lions would make the playoffs, nobody was prepared for me to say that it might be best if the team did not make the postseason.
The comment was blasphemous to Lions fans who want the team to make the Super Bowl tournament for the first time since 2016.
Personally, the fan in me would yes, I would love to see the team make the playoffs and I said so but it was unlikely the team would run the table in the waning weeks on the road in 2022.
The long-term thinking on this team believes the team, that was only 5-7 with a one in ten chance of making the playoffs at the time needs to stay hungry in 2022 with a chip on their shoulder going into the 2023 season.
My reasoning is that Dan Campbell would have the team's full attention in the 2022 offseason.
It would make the team a hot commodity in the 2023 free agent offseason and a destination for players that want both the money and to play for a team on the rise.
A second reason for my delay is the Lions need draft capitol. Who would have thought before this 2022 season that the Rams pick would be more valuable than the Lions own? Before the 6-1 run, the Lions were 1-6 and were slated to draft first or second half-way through the season. The reality is with two first round picks including the Rams pick likely coming in the top five plus a top second rounder and picks from the TJ Hockenson trade, the team is poised to plug some holes and get some playmakers on mostly, the pourous defensive side of the ball. The bottom line is some of the Lions best players are coming into the league and the Carolina Panthers loss might not have been a bad thing.
Finally, the Jared Goff situation. Goff has had a very solid year. A year where his absence from making the pro bowl was noted. He is a solid but unspectacular quarterback. He is worth a first-round pick to the right team. If management decides to flip him and ride it out with a top draft pick on a rookie deal, its worth watching.
The real clock on the Lions begins during the 2023 season. This season's teams rise is unexpected and for me, they have been playing with house money.
It would be great if they made the playoffs, but next year is where all of the young players need to be all in and take the franchise in a winning direction.
Reports: College Football Playoff board approves expanded format with 12 teams
The College Football Playoff will move to 12 teams after the Board of Managers approved expansion by an unanimous vote on Friday, according to multiple reports.
The expanded format will reportedly include the six highest ranked conference champions and the rest of the field will be made up of at-large selections, after the vote by the board, which consists of presidents from each of the 10 FBS conferences and Notre Dame.
The expansion could happen as early as the end of the 2024 season, but the 12-year contract the playoffs have with ESPN doesn't expire until after the 2025 season.
From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.
The current four-team format started in 2014 after decades of discontent between coaches and fans about how the national champion is decided in football. Initially determined by media and coaches poll, the Bowl Championship Series was created in 1998 to match the top two teams in one game after the regular season. That system lasted through the 2013 season before the current College Football Playoff system was used.
The College Football Playoff logo is shown on the field at AT&T Stadium before an NCAA college football game.© Roger Steinman, APAlabama has won the most CFP championships with three, followed by Clemson with two. Ohio State, LSU and defending champion Georgia have one title each.
By Brandon Day- Courtesy of SB Nation-Well the time has finally come. After seven years, Executive Vice-President of Baseball Operations and General Manager, Al Avila, has been fired by the Detroit Tigers. We had an inkling this was coming, but it’s still surprising to see that Team President Chris Ilitch has decided to make the move. The Tigers announced the move themselves on Wednesday afternoon.
© Mandi Wright/Detroit Free Press / USA TODAY NETWORKThe Detroit Tigers fire general manager Al AvilaAvila was promoted to the role in August of 2015, after the firing of long-time GM Dave Dombrowski by previous owner Mike Ilitch. Starting with his first full season in 2016, the Tigers have a record of 404-573 under Avila heading into Wednesday night’s matchup against Cleveland.
Avila’s hiring was supposed to initiate a new era in Tigers baseball. The idea was to construct a modern organization largely from scratch after the final years of big payrolls left the Tigers’ minor league system in terrible shape both in terms of players, personnel, and facilities. At the same time, Avila was to oversee the 2016 re-tooling in a final attempt to turn out another winner for Mike Ilitch. On every front things went very poorly.
A tacit admission of the fact came last summer, when Avila fired his long-time head of player development head, Dave Littlefield, beginning a major overhaul in coaches and decision-makers in the player development system. At the time, those major changes to the front office engaged speculation that Avila had bought himself a few more years to turn things around after pretty poor progress to that point. Unfortunately for Avila, his attempts to build a team with the potential to at least begin competing for a playoff spot fell badly flat this year, and the prospect capital built up through years of losing hasn’t produced the stockpile of high end young talent that was hoped as of yet.
Meanwhile, the fanbase finally reached the limits of its patience this season. Anger and frustration has been the theme of the 2022 season, and we can only hope now that brighter days are ahead.
There is no word on Avila’s replacement. A press conferrence is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. EDT with Ilitch to discuss the firing and the plan to move forward in finding the next general manager of the Detroit Tigers.